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LG, SK Telecom, Samsung to launch Korean blockchain identity platform this year


A South Korean blockchain identity consortium formed by LG, SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics and others announced the addition of new members.

Hyundai Card, BC Card, Shinhan Bank, and NH Bank signed up to the blockchain consortium. They join initial members SK Telecom, LG Uplus, KT, Samsung Electronics, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, and Koscom who created the group in July. The blockchain network has been named ‘Initial DID Association’.

With the new members, the consortium now has four of the top five banks in Korea. The launch of the blockchain platform has been brought forward from 2020 to the end of this year.

The announcement comes shortly after the non-profit Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KTFC) launched blockchain-based digital IDs for financial services. Over 30 firms have already signed up for this project which is in production.

If two major Korean identity projects weren’t enough, there’s a third led by a startup. Last month, ICONLOOP raised over $8 million in a Series A funding round. The firm plans to launch its blockchain digital identity service ‘my-ID’ in the first half of 2020.

The trio of initiatives are all working to introduce self-sovereign blockchain identity to users. The idea is to let an individual control his or her identity, qualifications and personal information.

Meanwhile, Initial DID Association has developed a mobile app for this purpose, where users can upload their certificates and share a copy with others. The consortium sees a host of use cases for its platform. Participating organizations will be assigned a QR code, which a user can scan to issue and submit documents.

Another potential application is that the smartphone of an employee can replace identity cards. ‘Initial’ also has plans to use the platform for submitting receipts for medical expenses when claiming on insurance.

The underlying concept is to share only the minimum necessary information with concerned parties. ‘Initial’ plans to launch financial services on its identity app and is presently working with ADT Caps, Seoul Auction Blue, YBM, and Korea Electronic Voting.

The consortium describes the Initial app as an ‘identity wallet’ based on decentralized identity certificate (DID).

Among global blockchain identity platforms, the Sovrin Network and uPort are the best known.